Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Your voice their world - Recording poetry for the blind

My friend sent me over an initiative that he is currently part of; having people give voices to beautiful words in the forms of poems (theirs or others'), in order for giving the blind people also their fair share of the mystical world of poetry that has existed over centuries. We are privileged enough to read the countless men and women who have put flowing words, painted pictures with them, weaved them into something as deep as poems. Let us extend this privilege out to the blind people as well; let us record our own poetry or other people's works at 
so they can also indulge in the sensations of poetry. 

A few of my old poems are recorded here, you can check them out :) 
I hope sincerely that this great initiative reaches heights, and that the library overflows with the sounds of poetry. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The train journey on this fine spring day

It is a gorgeous spring day. The sun is nice and bright, and the snow has almost melted. I look outside the window and see large empty fields, waiting to raise plants and crops for the summer. The small bodies of water are shimmering due to the sunlight. The ducks have started to wade in them. The geese have started flying back in to their summer home already. The black beauties of horses sturdy and majestic are feeding themselves from the fields. The vast expanse of naked trees await some more warmer weather to become chlorophylled again, after the freezing winters. Streams of water are beginning to flow yet again, with muddy, blue waters. I see a herd of deer basking in the glory of the sun and grazing in the open, a rare sight, of course.

Inside the train, the sunlight's playing hide-and-seek, as we cross trees and structures. There's an elderly couple sitting across from me. The grey-haired gentleman has kind eyes behind his glasses. He takes out a black diary, that has some notes scribbled on many of its pages in black ink. And he takes out a black pen. He starts writing in a cursive font in the diary. I cannot read it, but curiosity gets me thinking, what is he writing? Does the diary contain memoirs of journey's past? Or is it also a note of the beautiful spring day it is today?

The guy who is serving food in the train is a very jolly gentleman. He has a contagious smile, and a happy soul. I love to see such happy people who spread the very joy of life, just by being a part of peoples' lives for this small of a time.

As I am approaching my destination, I am counting my blessings for numerous reasons, one of them being the ability to enjoy a lovely spring day, whilst inside a train :).

Friday, June 11, 2010


The year 2010 has been extremely lucky a year for me. It's still mid year, and I have a feeling of satisfaction inside me of already achieving quite some things this year. A few of the achievements this year until now are:

  • Being actively involved with CU-WISE 
  • Passing my G2 driving test
  • Finishing my thesis and defending my Master's Thesis successfully in April 2010. I had my convocation ceremony on June 8th, 2010, and it was an amazing feeling. 
  • Having an opportunity for an interview at CRC Canada and securing a two-month (June/Juny) research project at CRC on Intelligent Transportation Systems
  • Being accepted for a talk at MITACS Workshop of Networks and Security being held in June
  • Being engaged to the special someone (Yes! Believe me when I say it is an achievement :))
  • This one, I still have my fingers crossed, as I don't yet know the final result .. Will update it once it becomes an achievement.
I am super excited about things falling into place so beautifully. I hope Lady Luck doesn't leave my side. 

Friday, May 14, 2010

Rather Simplistic

I still have to post the completed version of my previous painting of the horseys. But anyway, this is the new one that I did. It's relatively simplistic, done on a piece of paper, but with acrylic colors. I think it could be done on some fabric as well.

This one is for someone, who asked me to make something for them :) on a piece of paper. 

Do let me know what you think about it!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

My Incomplete Painting

 Here's an incomplete version of my painting.. I've been doing it for the holidays.. Do tell me how it is..

And this is my favourite horse. I've named him Majesty... 

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Networking 101 with Donna Messer

The Queen of Networking Donna Messer was in O-town on Thursday 29th April, 2010, at Carleton University. I got a chance to attend her Effective Networking workshop offered by MITACS. It surprisingly wasn't just another networking workshop where they tell you 80% of the jobs are hidden. It was about helping us to actually "network" with people. It was about being able to identify the kind of person we are about to interact with and changing our personality to match theirs to build a level of compatibility between us. She made me realize the different communication styles that people have. People can be red or orange or green, depending on how elaborate or moderate or otherwise they are while communicating. The revelation can be of immense help when trying to connect with someone, or even during an interview.

Networking really isn't just about passing your business card to someone. It is about making connections, that can be based on similarities. Donna based the art of networking on a very simple fact - we all like people that are like us. As a simple demonstration, using a 2-minute exercise, everyone in the room was paired with someone they had never known before, and each person was going to answer a set of some twelve or so questions. At the end of the exercise, we were required to note down some things that were common between us. It turns out me and my partner were able to find at least five things that were common to us. And from complete strangers, we became two people who knew each other, and could "connect" to each other!

Networking has a give and take side to it as well. If you are seeking help from someone, you will always have resources to share with them, something that will be of use to them.

I am glad I went to the workshop. I am thankful to Donna for opening my mind to this aspect of networking, which does not seem like an extra step at all, given that I am a rather shy person. Talking about Donna, she is a very motivational and enthusiastic speaker. I think that the impact a speaker leaves on you is much more than the speech. I recommend this workshop to everyone. It was a one of a kind experience.

Friday, March 26, 2010

OC Transpo Good/Bad...

Almost a year and half in Ottawa, and I think I have constantly nagged about the OC Transpo buses either coming earlier than scheduled, or later. Hardly ever, do I get a bus that is on time. Add to it the fact that OC Transpo buses are not as frequent as, say Toronto, missing one connection screws up the entire route. For me, I have to take 2 buses and the O-train to get me to school. When times are better, I reach in half an hour, but I've seen worse with traveling for almost an hour one way. One of the buses no longer has the schedule posted on the stop. They used to have it there before.

Today, it took me 1 hour and 10 minutes to get to school. I waited for the bus for almost 35 minutes!! Like many others who share my fate in having to deal with the untimeliness of OC Transpo, I've also tried complaining at OC Transpo website. And I haven't got a response yet. I was reading online, and I can see complaints dated back to August 2007, about the same problem. In November 2007, according to statistics, four out of five calls to OC Transpo were complaints. Wow, nothing has been done so far except going for a strike and fare hikes? (At least, the current fare hike was a shock for me.) When will they learn?

Apart from the timing, I think OC Transpo is decent. I like most of the drivers - they are friendly and happy, although I have had my share of rude drivers as well. I like the idea of the transit way. Oh, and I love the view from the upper deck of a double decker bus :).

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Ada Lovelace Day: The Technical Woman I admire

After I read Gail's email about Ada Lovelace Day, inspiring everyone to write a blog post about the technical woman/women they admire, I sat down to think. It was so true; somewhere deep down, I too was inspired by a woman. I don't think my post will make it to Ada Lovelace Day's website, since I am a bit late in writing this one. But it's never too late I guess.

Ever since I joined Grad school, I have been in constant touch with Christine Laurendeau. We shared the same lab, and that is how I got introduced to her. I still remember her first words to me, "I am glad there's another girl in the field of security"! Hmm, I thought, I gotta make the girls proud! She once came to present her research as a guest lecture in one of the courses I was taking. I was stunned by the amount of confidence she had. And I gained genuine interest in what she was doing.

Christine was finishing her Ph.D. around the time I started my research. She had also been appointed an instructor at Carleton University for the coming session. Since I was continuing to work on what she was doing, my supervisor Prof. Barbeau, suggested she could co-supervise my work. She would always explain things very well. I was impressed by the amount of knowledge she had. Both she and Prof. Barbeau would always encourage me by giving me positive feedback and believing in me. She has been a big motivation and help for me during my research. I will always appreciate her accepting to be a co-supervisor for me. Her researching and questioning skills have inspired me and taught me a lot. She doesn't know that, but seeing her has given me enough reasons to come back for a Ph.D somewhere down the lane. I am sure she does an awesome job at teaching and interacting with students as well; I see her office hours always packed with students.

She balances her family life and professional life just perfectly. So friendly, yet so professional, I don't think I have ever met a person who has awed me so much. I am so glad that we crossed paths! I wish her good luck with everything.

Thursday, March 18, 2010